Two women doing yoga

How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn

When it comes to weight loss, we try all kinds of things. We go running, lift weights, and try many types of exercise programs to lose those extra pounds. One of the best supplementary methods for burning calories is yoga. While it's true that you can enjoy a wide range of emotional and psychological benefits from yoga, there are also a myriad of physical advantages to be had as well. 


Keep in mind that you should not rely on yoga alone to win the bulge's battle. Additional factors, such as diet, caloric intake, and other exercise forms, will also influence your weight loss. A routine practice can be a useful contributor in aiding weight loss. Although there are other activities you can do that burn more calories than yoga, yoga can supplement your efforts to shed the pounds and, more importantly, keep them from returning


If you're looking for more Yoga insights and tips check out the Yoga Society Website.


Can Yoga Promote Weight Loss?

The answer is yes, but your intake of calories will also play a significant role in your ability to lose weight. The main objective of shedding pounds is to burn more calories than you consume. Physical exercise is a critical component in burning those calories, and yoga can be a useful exercise option depending on certain factors. The form of yoga you practice, the length of the session, the energy level maintained throughout, and whether you are female or male, all play a role in how many calories yoga can burn. 


How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?

Considering that body type and weight, along with the duration and intensity of a session, all contribute to how many calories you can burn, and it's important to remember that results will vary from one individual to the next. However, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that you typically burn close to your weight in calories over a 30-minute session


For instance, if you weigh 130 pounds, you can expect to burn about 120-125 calories in a half-hour of yoga. Therefore, you can burn twice that amount by doing an hour-long practice. Just remember to keep your caloric intake low and consistent, and make yoga part of a comprehensive exercise routine. 


Related: Forrest Yoga: The Path to Transformation


What Is The Difference Between Yoga and Other Exercises?

girl on mat in yoga stretch


Yoga is a good choice for helping you lose weight, but it should not be relied upon as your only form of exercise for helping you burn calories. There are many other alternatives that are far more effective at burning greater numbers of calories. 


Let's go back to that example, using a weight of 130 pounds. 

An hour-long practice will double that amount. However, keep in mind that running and swimming can be far more impactful for calorie burning. Maintaining a pace of 6 miles per hour on the run or swim for 30 minutes can burn as much as 400 calories.  


Related: Our Favorite Yoga Mats of 2020


What is Bikram yoga?

One of the more intense forms of yoga, Bikram yoga, is often mistakenly confused with any other routine hot yoga session. The difference between Bikram and other forms of hot yoga is the temperature level necessary for practicing Bikram, and the number and order in which the poses and breathing exercises are carried out. 


A Bikram yoga studio must have a room temperature of 105 degrees and 40% humidity. Any other temperature or humidity level is not Bikram, it is merely hot yoga. There are 26 poses that must be performed in a specific order, and two breathing exercises over a period of 90 minutes. Due to its level of intensity, Bikram is a popular form of yoga for achieving weight loss goals.    


Related: What is Kundalini Yoga?


What is the Connection between Yoga, Sleep, and Weight Loss?

Studies have shown that routine yoga practice can have a beneficial impact on sleep patterns. Yoga promotes better and longer sleep and can be useful in helping you fall asleep faster. Further studies have also indicated that people who experience more restful sleep patterns are more likely to succeed in losing weight.  


Therefore, good sleep can lead to more healthy body composition. If yoga has been shown to provide natural benefits for getting enough sleep, it stands to reason that yoga is a primary component in your ability to lose weight.  


Yoga and Long Term Weight Management

We've talked a lot about caloric intake and calorie burn and how they are related to physical activity. Yoga is a vital part of any smart, long term weight management program, but only if these other factors are carefully monitored. A good, healthy diet is key to weight loss. As long as you are burning more calories than you consume, you are on the right track. 


Exercise is important for burning those calories, and yoga, along with other exercise options, can serve as a valuable, low-impact addition to any regimen. Regular yoga practice is a good way of maintaining your weight over the long-term. 

women doing yoga pose on mat

Closing Thoughts 

Choosing yoga as a solution to weight loss is a sensible way to drop those extra pounds. However, you should always remain cognizant of the fact that you will only get so far in your goals if you fail to provide your body with the proper nutrients and a reasonable amount of daily calories. Yoga on its own will allow you to burn less calories than more strenuous activities, so always use it as a way to keep the pounds off after you have lost the initial weight you aim to shed. 


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